East Timor or Timor Leste is a young country and is located on the eastern part of the island of Timor and neighbors Indonesia. Just north of Australia and west of New Guinea. The country is perhaps not associated so much with diving yet and that is probably because they have just started to get tourism started. However, there is very species-rich water here and a nice mix of big and small to experience.

You can get here by flight from Singapore, Australia or Bali in Indonesia and you lands in the capital Dili. From there it is not far to good diving and there are already diving resorts here. You can find the best diving on the small island of Atauro, which is about an hour's boat ride to the north. Here the reefs are healthy and prosperous and not so affected by humans yet. There is also an incredible diversity of fish here. They have actually measured more fish species on average per dive than what was done in the much more famous Raja Ampat in New Guinea.In addition to fish, there are also plenty of different invertebrates with nudibranchs, squid, crustaceans, nettles, echinoderms and flatworms and more.

Common with whales

The area is also known for whale sightings. Blue whales, sperm whales, beaked whales, pilot whales and many different species of dolphins are quite common. Many backpackers go here precisely to experience encounters with these real beasts of the sea. The strait here between the island of Timor and the islands Alor, Pantar and Wetar are very deep, over 3000 meters. It is used by these large mammals for their migrations. This means that you sometimes find huge groups of whales right here.

East Timor thus has enormous potential, but infrastructure, mainly electricity and water, would need a little nudge in the right direction. Virtually all electricity today is produced with generators and you should avoid drinking water other than if it is purified or from bottles. For those who want to try going to East Timor for a diving trip and adventure, it will be an exciting holiday.

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All pictures with © approval from Atauro Island Dive resort, East Timor

Travel information East Timor

  • Time zone: GMT +9
  • Currency: US Dollar
  • Languages: Portuguese and Tetun.
  • Water: Avoid drinking tap water and ice made from tap water. Buy bottled water instead
  • Visa: As a Swedish citizen, you do not need a visa to travel to East Timor.
  • Health: Contact your nearest vaccination clinic for advice
  • Pressure chamber: Not found in East Timor. The closest ones are in Denpasar (Bali) and Darwin (Australia)
  • Country code: +670
  • Electricity: 220 volts. Most electrical sockets correspond to our sockets in the Nordics.
  • Weather: The climate is warm and tropical, the temperature varies between 25-34 degrees depending on the season. The rainy season usually lasts between November and April, when short but often heavy showers usually occur in the afternoon.
  • Current water temperature and average sea temperature per month
  • Tipping: About 5-10% of the bill is usual.
  • Clothing recommendations: Casual clothing is suitable in all situations, even when visiting the finer, more trendy restaurants.